5 news stories from Hertfordshire's food and drink scene

Farmhouse at Redcoats with new Orangery restaurant, Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Farmhouse at Redcoats with new Orangery restaurant - Credit: Anglian Country Inns

Redcoats' new orangery

The Farmhouse at Redcoats, near Hitchin, has opened a new 'rustic chic' restaurant. The Orangery, on the site of the former conservatory, is the latest development in the restoration of the 600-year-old farmhouse and its outbuildings, and opens on to a woodland dell and gardens.

Star dishes, supervised by executive head chef Sherwin Jacobs, include crispy baby squid with roasted garlic or wild garlic and truffle arancini among starters, while mains include pan roasted Creedy Carver duck breast or charcoal grilled whole king prawns with chilli. 

Salisbury & Shepherd relaunched 

Hertford’s historic hotel and pub The Salisbury, part of the McMullen & Sons brewery portfolio, has joined the refurb trend sweeping the county. The business closed in May with plans to reopen later this year after major works that McMullen says will restore it to its original beauty. New features include a garden terrace for year-round al fresco drinking and dining, and a private dining room accompanied by locally sourced menus. 

In Chorleywood, The Old Shepherd has undergone an extensive refresh by pub owner Red Oak Taverns in partnership with landlord Scott McGarvie. A new food menu includes European and British small and large plates with a contemporary twist. 

Tring Brewery Alchemist Lager 

Tring Brewery Alchemist Lager - Credit: Tring Brewery Co

Tring alchemy

Inspired by the Herts' legend of the Alchemist of Lilley, Tring Brewery has launched a 'liquid gold'. Using hops from the Czech Republic and Germany blended with malt and lager yeast, Alchemist is a premium lager with 'notes of gentle spice and sweet grain'. It is the first departure from real ales for the brewery in its three decades. 

'Authentic continental lagers were our inspiration,' says brewery director Andrew Jackson. 'We’re looking to offer drinkers an independent product crafted with passion, brewed in the home-counties with the finest ingredients and processes.'
For stockists, see tringbrewery.co.uk/alchemist-lager

Rivers of Hertford gin

A new gin celebrating the waterways of the county town is the latest offering from St Albans craft distillery Spirit of Hertfordshire.

Four Rivers of Hertford is the brainchild of owner Richard Daniel and head distiller and botanical forager Richard Osmond, in collaboration with Hertford Civic Society. Ingredients feature acorns from the river Mimram, holy rosemary from the Roman temple ruins on the Rib, watercress and elderberries from the Beane and hops which once floated up the Lea from London.